The spring fever of questions

Ingrid Chang

Formspring fad has spread from the Internet

Teachers have always said there’s no such thing as a dumb question. But now in an Internet-crazed world, Formspring may prove them wrong. Unlike Myspace and Facebook, Formspring’s focus isn’t networking, but rather allowing others to ask any and all questions anonymously.

Some questions are genuine and some are inappropriate. Senior Avinash Changavi has encountered both types of questions after recently being persuaded to make a Formspring by some of his friends. 

"People who don’t have any guts can ask you questions behind a wall because you don’t know who they are," Changavi said. "It gives people who hate you a chance to get back at you."
The classes of 2012 and 2013 have both taken advantage of
Formspring to improve their class interactions. Individuals, however,
use it for different reasons. Image Screenshot by Ingrid Chang.
What attracts people to Formspring is having the ability to find out what people think about them through posted questions and the mystery behind each question. Formspring doesn’t have features for blocking people but there are settings that allow only signed-in users to ask questions. But anonymity has its up sides as well.    

Even though Formspring may seem like another social networking website, it has more utility. The Class of 2012 and 2013 have made class Formsprings for students to ask any questions they might have, allowing each class to connect with each other and come together to share ideas.

"Before, we could only receive input if people emailed us and if we put out a survey," class of 2012 vice president sophomore Christina Aguila said. "But we didn’t have that many surveys and we just wanted an easy way for the class to contact us." 

Class of 2012 secretary sophomore Kelly Dwarmawan came up with the idea when the officers were discussing ways to encourage more input from the class. For the class of 2012, Formspring has been an effective way of answering questions about fundraising and other miscellaneous events. Some questions that the class of 2012 have encountered range from names of songs played during lunch to ways  to ask someone to Sadies. 

The class of 2013 caught on to the Formspring fad early as well and decided to make a Formspring a couple of months ago. It was intended as a way for the student body to get to know class officers and to submit ideas. However, after a few months of using it,class secretary freshman Emily Wong believes differently. 

"We can incorporate informative things but I don’t think many people would bother coming to it for information because that’s what the class website is for," Wong said. "Personally I don’t see the point in it. I mean if people want to get to know me they can just ask me."

The amount of activity on the class of 2012’s Formspring has been diminishing recently while the class of 2013’s varies from week to week. Individuals such as Changavi have been using it less as well, whereas before he would log on every two hours. As of now, Formspring’s place in Web 2.0 is still uncertain.

Formspring’s tagline, "Ask me anything", is the catalyst for possible trouble: especially the trouble that comes from dumb questions. But one lingering question will always remain: do dumb questions exist? On Formspring, maybe they do.

 

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